When your views on climate change conflict with your chosen career path

01 Nov 2019

Coghlan, S., Cardilini, A.

In Practice Image

The dilemma

Jenny is approaching graduation, at which point she hopes to begin her career in animal production. However, she is deeply concerned about climate change and has previously marched in protest of the government’s lack of action. When speaking with a fellow veterinary student she was told, ‘We should avoid working in animal production, its role in global warming is increasingly apparent. Personally, I’m going to work with companion animal medicine or research instead.’ Jenny is now concerned that while farm animals need care, going into this field will make her complicit in damaging the environment. As her mentor, what would you advise?

Issues to consider

A recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) revealed that nearly 29 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions arise from forestry and agricultural practices (IPCC 2019). Without drastically reducing deforestation and livestock production, the IPCC...